Bruni files his very last article as Times critic today by performing a Q&A with himself. (Q: Frank, what are the best steakhouses in New York? A: Well, Frank, I'm glad you asked that, because it's a complicated.)
Some of his final recs from that piece and the follow up on the BruniBlog, are broken down below, and check back later today for Eater's be-all-end-all epic Bruni post—a final dinner with Bruni.
Best Sushi: Masa, Sushi Yasuda
Best Steakhouses: Spark's, Porter House, BLT Prime, Keens, Harry's Steak, Strip House
Most Underrated: Perbacco, Degustation, 15 East, Soto, Accademia di Vino
Best Value: Eleven Madison Park
Under Publicized Burgers: Union Square Cafe, James, Monkey Bar
Brooklyn: Vinegar Hill House, Motorino, Al di La, Franny's, Dressler
Bar Food: Mayahuel, Gottino, Terroir, PDT, Employees Only
Fried Chicken: The Redhead, Blue Ribbon Columbus Circle
All those recommendations aside, this is the real useful Bruni parting gem from those pieces. On the safest way to navigate a menu:
Scratch off the appetizers and entrees that are most like dishes you’ve seen in many other restaurants, because they represent this one at its most dutiful, conservative and profit-minded. The chef’s heart isn’t in them. Scratch off the dishes that look the most aggressively fanciful. The chef’s vanity — possibly too much of it — spawned these. Then scratch off anything that mentions truffle oil. Choose among the remaining dishes.
Where to go, how to order, and what to expect, all courtesy of Frankie Boom Boom.